OPINION: Santa and Rudolph, your jobs are safe
AUSTRALIANS seem to love the idea of a special package delivered directly by air once a year, but don't think much of the idea of regular drone deliveries.
Retailing giant Amazon has unveiled plans to use an "octocopter" to deliver packages directly to customers, promising delivery times of 30 minutes.
Amazon has admitted the idea needs more work, with sorting out safety issues of giant flying spiders buzzing around the neighbourhood being one of the trickiest. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos says it might be four to five years before there is a new definition of world wide web.
But with an organisation the size of Amazon pushing the concept, chances are there will be some accommodations made.
In Australia an organisation with a package in the post, Australian couriering and logistics franchise, PACK & SEND, have surveyed customers to find out just what the want with online shopping delivery.
It seems we want to crawl before we walk, or in this instance, fly. About half don't think drone delivery will ever be a thing and only 11% say they would ever use the service.
"Deliveries outside of business hours" and "ease of product returns" top customers' wish-lists.
It's not the thought of doing Santa and Rudolph out of a job that has customers worried.
The possibility of an unmanned machine packed with cameras and other sensors flying over residential areas might encourage the more privacy conscious among us to reach for the shotgun.
Another issue is drone security. Sending US$24,000 worth of machinery to deliver a 2.5kg package could encourage illegal thoughts in the minds of less trustworthy people.
And with Amazon obviously gearing its service for the densely populated American market, the chances are it will be a lot longer than four or five years before the six white boomers are looking for new jobs or are on the dole queue.